Lessons Left Behind

by Roger Pynn

I’ve been through a series of losses recently, and when dear friends and family members pass away I guess it is unavoidable that we become reflective and introspective.  Perhaps it is also something that comes with age, but at a number of these funerals and memorial services I’ve been struck by the lessons those we mourned and honored left behind.

One loss that hit very hard was that of a dear friend and client, Gary Sain … a giant in the tourism and hospitality industry.  As I listened to those who had come to praise him, including corporate and community giants, I thought of all the times he had said to me, “why not?”  Gary just refused to take “no” for an answer if he believed in something … and he always believed BIG.

I’m grateful to him for the reminder that just because others don’t understand isn’t reason to give up … it is a call to action to package your ideas and clarify and communicate them, but most importantly to do so in a positive way, never allowing yourself to get on the defensive.

And although I don’t know Jack Zenger, his blog post for Forbes about the value of communicating honestly came from something he experienced in one of the most unimaginable of all life situations … the loss of a child.  You should read this, not just because it is exceptionally well-written, but because in the midst of the horrifying loss of an adult son, he recognized lessons all of us can benefit from in the compassionate yet assertive words of a physician.

What I’ve been left with through these losses and the lessons is a realization that these people all seemed to know that sharing life lessons is an important responsibility … and that they didn’t wait to share them.  They shared them when they were alive and we celebrated them when they were gone.

What are you sharing?

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